Council gets update on city's plans to re-open buildings, activities

The Wayne swimming pool will be filled with water and the heaters turned on in the coming weeks.  However, at this time, no determination has been made on whether the pool will be open to swimmers this season.

That was the update provided during Tuesday's meeting of the Wayne City Council.

Lowell Heggemeyer, City Recreation & Parks Director, told the council that work needs to be done at the pool to determine where water is leaking and the pool needs to be filled with water for this to happen. In addition, work needs to be done on the heaters at the pool.

However, city staff and council members have not made any decision on if or when the pool could open this summer.

Julie Rother with the Northeast Nebraska Public Health Department said that no direction has been given by the governor at this point, but she expects some type of guidance to be announced in the coming days.

The city will also be looking to other cities to see what direction they are taking in regard to swimming pools and water parks.

Rother also told the council that with the relaxed Directed Health Measures, the public needs to continue to practice social distancing and wear masks when out in the public. She anticipates additional guidelines will be coming from the governor's office in regard to business re-opening.

City Administrator Wes Blecke updated the council on several items related to COVID-19 prevention actions the city has taken in recent weeks.

He said that while the city owns the athletic field used by baseball and softball teams, the respective associations are responsible for the activities of these teams. He also updated the council on city staff schedules and the re-opening of the offices.

Mayor Cale Giese said he would like to have the next council meeting at the Wayne Fire Hall, which allows for more social distancing. The meeting will also be available via zoom for the public to take part.

Darin Greunke, the leader of the Sharp Shooters 4-H Club, requested permission to operate a portable shooting gallery style air-gun trailer in conjunction with Henoween and the Chicken Show. The request was unanimously approved.

Following a public hearing, the council moved forward with Resolution 2020-25. This will allow the city administrator to apply for Nebraska Public Transportation Act Funds for the purchase of a 14 passenger bus with a wheelchair lift for the Wayne Senior Center.

Federal assistance will pay for 80 percent of the $66,000 vehicle, with the state of Nebraska contributing 10 percent and the city responsible for the remaining 10 percent.

The new vehicle would replace the 2008 seven passenger Chevy Uplander van and a 2004 nine passenger Ford van. The city will be able to sell those two vehicles and keep any proceeds from the sale.

Resolution 2020-26 was approved, creating an agreement between the city and Dave Loewenstein for a Public Art Project.

Lowenstein, who lives in Lawrence Kan., presented a draft concept to the city for a painted mural on the north side of the Majestic Theatre. It is estimated the project will be complete by the end of July.

Following discussion, council members took action to amend the police officer job description and approved a resolution approving amendments to the ambulance services agreement between the city of Wayne and Providence Medical Center.

With the outbreak of COVID-19, several issues were brought up in regard to police officers assisting with rescue calls and the fact that they are not provided with any personal protective equipment (PPE) while at these calls.

The changes to the job description and the amendment to the agreement will help minimize the city's liability and allow for PMC to provide training  and equipment for the officers.

Ordinance 2020-8 was approved and the three readings waived. It approves the vacating of an alley on West Second Street to allow Chad Hoeppner to build a garage larger than would have been allowed due to the R-1 zoning requirements. It will also put the alley property back on the tax roles.

City Planner/Building Inspector Joel Hansen explained to the council the options available to Hoeppner and said the vacating of the alley was easier than re-zoning the area.

Council members approved applications for payment No. 1 in the amount of $680,672.88 to Rutjens Construction Inc. for the 2019 Water Transmission Main Project. 

Also approved was a change order for the project in the amount of $4,845.00.

Roger Protzman with JEO Consulting Group gave the council an update on the water project and the need for the change order. He said the contractors are "making good progress" and thanked the county for its assistance with several parts of the project.

Pay applications were also approved in the amount of $139,045.50 to Robert Woehler & Sons Construction Inc. for the 2019 Nebraska Street Improvement Project and  for $340,522.20 to M&B Quality Concrete for the Restoration of Walking Trail Project.

A payment of $24,890.00 to Sioux Contractors, Inc. for the Wayne Senior Center Room and Walk-in Freezer Addition Project was approved. The project has been completed while the Senior Center is closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Council members approved the appointment of Phil Monahan as fire chief for the Wayne Volunteer Fire Department. Monahan has served in this position for eight years.

Council members set Tuesday, June 30 at 5 p.m. as the date for a council retreat. The retreat will be held at the Wayne Fire Hall.

The Wayne City Council will next meet in regular session on Tuesday, June 2 at 5:30 p.m.

The Wayne Herald

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Wayne, NE 68787
Phone: 402-375-2600

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